Small Business Saturday brings boost to downtown stores

Published: Nov. 27, 2021 at 7:39 PM EST
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - On Saturday, local business were flooded with customers as they held special sales as part of Small Business Saturday. The day provided a chance for small business to get a boost in sales as the holiday season kicks off.

“2020 and 2021 took out a lot of small businesses, and so, we’re hoping that today, and in the season following, people really do a good job of supporting their local businesses,’ said Sabrina Dorman-Andrew, owner of New Creation, a boutique in Harrisonburg.

Small businesses in Harrisonburg hope the day encouraged more people to do their holiday shopping locally.

“Shop Small Saturday really helps small businesses kick the holiday shopping season off. I think it’s very easy to shop big box stores, or Amazon, or online, so Shop Small Saturday really helps drive people into our stores,” said Dorman-Andrew.

At New Creation, holiday sales also go to a good cause. It’s a non-profit shop that partners with a number of organizations across the world to help women who have either been rescued from, or are vulnerable to, human trafficking.

“Every time people come in the shop, they’re able to see the different items from across the world and see the impact they can have. So, what we’re doing in Harrisonburg through our shopping is really helping to affect women’s lives around the world,” said Dorman-Andrew.

New Creation was just one of the many area small businesses hoping to draw in customers on Small Business Saturday.

“We do count on these days to kind of really help our end of the year sales. We’re always counting on a big crowd, and so, if that doesn’t happen, it really does make a big impact on our store and in businesses downtown,” said Kara Miller, Executive Director of Ten Thousand Villages.

Ten Thousand Villages is a store in downtown Harrisonburg that gets it’s products from vendors in developing countries all over the world. It was very busy throughout the day on Saturday.

“In our store, not only are you helping to support local when you are shopping, but you’re also supporting artisans in developing countries. It really makes a big impact on them to get a fair price on what they make,” said Miller.

Cats Cradle in Harrisonburg said the day drove a lot of customers to the store and also helped them find homes for some of their feline friends.

“Super excited to get these cats out, and then we’ve definitely had a lot more business in general with people just stopping in figuring out what Cats Cradle is, what our organization does and a few people signed up to volunteer with us as well,” said Kristin Rhodenizer, an employee and adoption coordinator for Cats Cradle.

Cats Cradle, Ten Thousand Villages, and other local shops looked to drive customers downtown by offering the chance to win 100 downtown dollars with any $25 purchase to use at any small business downtown.

“It really makes a big difference if they’re coming downtown versus going online. It just brings money back to your community and it also really helps our small businesses to thrive,” said Kara Miller.

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